Pate-designed Ferst Christmas Cards on sale
by Bradley Hartsell
Over the past few years, Martin Pate has become a predominant figure Newnan’s art circle.
Pate has been commissioned on numerous occasions to create art for the Newnan-Coweta Historical Society and the U.S. Parks Department. And for the fourth time, Pate has designed the annual Coweta Ferst Foundation for Childhood Literacy Christmas Card.
The cards are a fundraiser for the Ferst Foundation, an organization promoting childhood literacy by donating books monthly to participating families.
“Most of our board members are educators,” Ferst volunteer Janie Lore said. “We feel that Coweta Ferst Foundation helps bring students to school ready to learn with less remediation.”
Pate agrees, noting this is why he’s so eager to participate with the foundation.
“I was drawn to this project for two reasons. One is the subject matter, which sounded fun — Santa on top of the Courthouse — and I just could not resist that,” said Pate. “The other reason is that I feel reading is so important for children.”
“I was an early reader and remember how much I loved adventure stories and history. ‘We Were There’ was a favorite series of mine. Anything that got my imagination going, like Tarzan, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, or Frankenstein — all children should be read to and encouraged to read as much as possible,” he said.
Janie Lore is appreciative of Pate’s eagerness to work with the Ferst Foundation and sees the artist and the organization as a perfect match.
“Martin Pate has become an important partner for the Ferst Foundation, and his artistic talents are enjoyed by many in Coweta. We are excited he donates his time to promote early literacy,” said Lore.
This year’s artwork is a depiction of Mary and Joseph approaching the stable on a dark, snowy night. The point of view is of Mary and Joseph looking at the stable, seeing a warm light emitting from the barn. Lore said the 16x20 oil painting by Pate is a nod to CORRAL — Coweta Organization for Riding, Rehabilitation and Learning — which hosts a live recreation of the nativity story annually at their facilities in Roscoe.
The cards were offered for sale during Newnan’s recent Market Day and will continue to be available throughout the holiday season. The 5x7 cards come with blue envelopes and feature a drawing inside by Pate of Santa Claus watching over a child in a treehouse, another representation of CORRAL. One card is $5, eight cards are $28 and 48 cards are $140.
To purchase a Christmas card, go to www.cowetaferst.org or call Janie Lore at 770-253-9598.